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Bit OT: UK driving test - theory part.


Happyoldgit
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My lad has come home a bit down in the dumps tonight, he sat the theory test earlier today and failed [scored 41, a pass is 43]. This is the second time he has taken it, last attempt he scored 39 so he is getting there slowly but is now really lacking confidence. His driving instructor reckons he is above pass level on the practical, and speaking as an old f@rt who's been driving for decades I'd agree with that, but I'm not sure how much support the guy is giving him with the theory. Lad has done loads of online and book revision plus lots of questions and answers with us but I reckon he needs to try a different tack.

So, recommendations for something like a good tutorial CD / DVD or books would be gratefully received.

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the hazard perception is at best (or at least as i remember it in '09) crude, the video quality is that bad you spend your time working out whether that dot on the screen is a cyclist, or a fencepost....

he will get there in the end, and its worth it for his independence and freedom to drive. Unfortunately it seems everyone is against young drivers with insurance premiums the way they are etc etc.

you can't be an old driver without being a new driver though!

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Yeah, if it was the hazard perception it's a bit hit and miss.

I sat the motorcycle one recently and I found that it doesn't like it if you spot the hazard too soon! They seem to want you to click as soon as you see a potential hazard and then click again if it changes/develops into an actual or more likely hazard.

As far as books etc go, I think they're all much of a muchness - good to revise from the question books as a short cut but no substitute for knowing the highway code well.

Hope he's luckier next time!

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it seems to me they need to majorly revise the driving test shenannigans.

it can't be that hard to give poeple a lesson on how to drive on a motorway for starters!!! :angry2::glare::rtfm: basic stuff like changing a tyre would help too

the theory test seems to be more luck than judgement too!

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Yeah, if it was the hazard perception it's a bit hit and miss.

I sat the motorcycle one recently and I found that it doesn't like it if you spot the hazard too soon! They seem to want you to click as soon as you see a potential hazard and then click again if it changes/develops into an actual or more likely hazard.

As far as books etc go, I think they're all much of a muchness - good to revise from the question books as a short cut but no substitute for knowing the highway code well.

Hope he's luckier next time!

I'd echo the above, I know its to cut out the constant clickers, but I was loosing out on points when I clicked to early :angry:

Which section of the theory was he struggling on? Hazard perception or the questions?

When I was learning to drive, I used the DSA's own DVDs for the computer and found them to be spot on.

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I've had to take 4 driving tests, for the theory I've always used the dsa computer program and books. The books have every possible question in and the computer program let's you get used to the way it will be on the day.

It's tempting to borrow one off a mate who got it off a mate of a mate but don't skimp, they're usually out of date.

There's a lot of random stuff to remember too so I always ignored stuff like "what's the stopping distance from 50 on a wet road" as I always thought it was such a pointless question, I what the surface condition is, if there's any oil spills, what my tyres are like etc etc and it might have some meaning but in reality it's just remembering random numbers which you can't relate to real life so stick to trying to learn something you can apply as then it's easier to remember.

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How things have changed.

In 1964, at the grand age of 17 I caught the train from Wolverton (my late parents resided in Stoney Stratford) and met a mate in Northampton, we put the "L" plates on his Escort 1600 and I drove it to Bletchley some 30 odd miles south through country lanes with him telling me how to change gear, use the clutch etc. as we went.

We arrived at the traffic office just before the time I'd booked my driving test for. I had the inspector sit alongside me for, as I remember, a couple of laps around several blocks, a three point turn, an emergency stop and a hill start, I passed with flying colours and drove the car, and old mate, back to Stony Stratford where my chum shared a few ales with me at the Barley Mow Hotel before he drove home.

Oh how I miss those "good old days" ^_^

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There's a lot of random stuff to remember too so I always ignored stuff like "what's the stopping distance from 50 on a wet road" as I always thought it was such a pointless question, I what the surface condition is, if there's any oil spills, what my tyres are like etc etc and it might have some meaning but in reality it's just remembering random numbers which you can't relate to real life so stick to trying to learn something you can apply as then it's easier to remember.

That said, if you ARE good at remembering figures, there's a good chance one of the stopping distances will come up and it could be an easy mark if that's your thing. Maybe one to read 10 seconds before you go in and forget immediately afterwards!

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Wife and I did the theory test with our bike tests a few years ago and passed first go. I got full marks on the highway code just by learning all the questions by heart through a book we got - from the library I think. The hazard perception was much more difficult and I managed to get disqualified from one clip by clicking too much - It was the double hazard clip too. I spotted hazards that were not the right ones - the real ones, as it turns out, were glaringly obvious before the 'click window' opened, and so I was clicking way too early. You will probably know your son's driving and awareness well enough to know if this is likely to be his problem. If you think that he is not sufficiently aware, get him to ride round with you, in the passenger seat or driving and have him 'practice' by spotting the hazards as you drive round town - rather as the cops do in advanced driver training - and report them to you as you go.

The ultimate solution is real life. Get your boy out on a small motorbike for three months. He will be a much better driver at the end, will pass his theory test first go and, likely as not, his driving test too. He will also learn to look properly and spot bikes in traffic. :) This among us who ride bikes will know that you quickly develop a 'sixth sense'.

Chris

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basic stuff like changing a tyre would help too

I asked about this and the answer I got was legislation. If you were to teach someone to change a wheel then you would have to be qualified to teach them. That then goes into the whole world of pain with H&S, making sure you have a calibrated torque wrench etc. Absolutely ridiculous.

As for the hazard perception it is weird one. When I sat mine I was told by the test centre that all of Norfolk Constabulary Traffic cops failed the hazard perception first time round. Reason being they are trained to look at the road and judge what is going to happen and adjust accordingly. i.e. They are bombing along and see little Johnny running along the pavement slowly veering towards the road. They would perceive that as a hazard and make adjustments (or click the mouse on the test) to avoid an incident happening. That would be a fail. The actual hazard is when Johnny blindly steps in the road. That is when you register it on the test to pass ... obviously that is too late for a copper driving a loaded BMW estate while on a call.

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Funny stopping distances have been mentioned as I know he didn't have much confidence in remembering the numbers, in fact he had 0 confidence about the whole thing which I don't think helped much either. He has managed to book to sit another one just before Christmas, in fact there was a spare slot today but he didn't fancy chancing it so soon, in fact he has left his dog eared copies of the official DVSA Theory Test for Car Drivers and Dept Transport Know Your Traffic Signs books behind today. I can't recall offhand what online resources he has been using but know one or two were the ones recommended by his instructor.

He also left his notification of failure letter here too so I can see he scored 41 for the multiple choice and 66 for hazzard perception [pass is 43 / 50 & 44 / 75].

The note also lists the incorrect answers in the various topic areas..

Attitude 1

Safety & your vehicle/motorcycle 2

Vulnerable road users 1

Vehicle/motorcycle handling 1

Rules of the road 2

Road & traffic signs 2

Hazzard perception clips scores

Double hazzard 10

9 clips 5

1 clip 4

1 clip 3

2 clips 2

All this is a far cry from when I took my test many years back. I passed first go much to my amazement at the time but put that down to the police driving instructor I used who was 'old school' to say the least. So much learning comes with eperience after you obtain your licence that it just becomes second nature.

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My theory was 3 questions from the highway code... I feel for people with theory tests, I'm sure a practical lesson dedicated to it would do more good. Then at least they could be assessed by a human and not a robot.

Have to say, if I was presented with a boy skipping along the edge of the pavement, I would back off and move towards the white line if at all possible, well before he stepped out. Seems a lot of experienced drivers would fail the test to me....

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When you do your HGV now you have to drive a section of road and tell the instructor/examiner what you see, like the hazard perception test. Can't help feeling they'd tell me to shut up pretty quick, as with everyone else, I see far more than the hazard perception test expects you too!

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I think there should be a pedestrian hazard awareness test. I used to hate pedestrians and cyclists when I drove lorries, they used to walk right on the edge of the pavement for some unknown reason and on narrow roads when you needed to be as near the kerb as possible you use to have to stop for them so that you didn't give them a clip around the ear with your wing mirror. The cyclists are also a pain as they have a habit of riding along the pavement then when you get to a drop kerb using it as a ramp to jump into the road with no thought to see what's coming along the road from behind them. Really helpful when your doing 30mph in a 40 tonne vehicle and there's a vehicle coming the other way. Infact I could write a whole grumpy old git article on the stupidity of cyclist but I won't for blood pressure reasons :hysterical:

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At the risk of sounding dangerously like a peacemaker, I think the proportion of idiots is pretty constant regardless of their mode of transport.

I've been a cyclist for years in London and elsewhere, a motorcyclist too, and i've been doing blue-light response driving in cars, vans, lorries and pushbikes for a good while now, and i've been as angry at idiots in lorries using their size to bully people as I have by idiots on bikes sitting in blind spots and playing chicken with traffic with no regard for the drivers.

I used to get angry until I realised it was ruining my day and making no difference to them - they remain idiots however much we shout. I know it's infuriating but I find these discussions where we generalise about groups of road users really divisive and unhelpful....cyclists are genuinely vulnerable and when we generalise and demonise we devalue their lives and make people care less when they die.

As bad as it is, maybe we just need to accept that so many road users are so stupid that we can't make the shared spaces safe and we need to segregate bikes the way they do in Denmark, for example? I don't know. I don't have any better ideas, i'm just a bit sad that after a decade of riding to work in London, I ended up giving it up and getting in my car after getting knocked off twice in a short time through no fault of my own, just drivers who didn't very much care about my fate (one of them only stopped because he saw that I was conscious enough to take his number plate down!). It was rare for me to get through my commute every day without someone having a good crack at killing me.

Anyway, rant over. Apologies for :stirthepot: and :offtopic: and obviously I know we're all exemplary drivers on here ;)

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